To be eligible to register to vote in Massachusetts, you must be:
Because of a new federal law, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 passed by Congress, any voter who registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, will be required to show identification when he/she votes for the first time since registering by mail in 2003. 42 U.S.C. ? 15483(b)(4)(A); G. L. c. 54, ? 76B. Acceptable identification must include the voter's name and the address at which he/she is registered to vote, for example: a current and valid photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document showing your name and address.
If the voter does not provide such identification, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires that the voter may only cast a provisional ballot which will be counted later, but only after the voter's eligibility to vote has been determined.
Additionally, an election officer, authorized to do so by the local election officials, may request any voter to present written identification. 950 C.M.R. ? 54.04(6B). The requests must not discriminate in any way and may therefore be: entirely random, consistent, or based on reasonable suspicion. Id. Please note that there is no provision which permits observers to request identification from any voter or even to communicate with voters.
The minimum hours polls are open are set by state law, although city council and town selectmen actually set the hours in conjunction with these statutes and local ordinances and by-laws. For state elections and city elections, polling locations must be open at least thirteen hours and for town elections, polling locations must be open at least four hours. G. L. c. 54, ? 64 (2002 ed.). For state primaries, polling locations must be open at least thirteen hours. G. L. c. 53, ? 43 (2002 ed.). For certain city preliminaries, the polling locations must be open at least six hours. G. L. c. 43, ? 44A (2002 ed.).